Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy took on the roles of Catwoman and Bane for "The Dark Knight Rises," but whatever happened to The Riddler and The Penguin? Those iconic Batman villains were rumored for Christopher Nolan's big finale many moons ago, with most of that talk stemming from an interview between MTV's Josh Horowitz and actor Michael Caine.
"They've already got [the villains] in mind," Caine told us in a September 2008 interview. "It's Johnny Depp as The Riddler. And The Penguin is Philip Seymour Hoffman. I read it in the paper."
Those casting announcements never panned out, of course. And as it turns out, that interview with Mr. Horowitz got Caine into some hot water.
"I did an interview in Toronto. Was that you?" Caine asked Horowitz during the recent "Dark Knight Rises" junket in Los Angeles. "I read it in the paper that morning, in the hotel. It said that Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman were going to play these characters — I forget which characters they were. And you said, 'What do you think of this?' And I said, 'Oh, I think that's fantastic! I think Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman are fabulous actors!'"
"Then I got all these letters and phone calls from Warner Bros. saying 'What are you saying? You're not supposed to [say that]!'" he continued of his experience. "And then I became known as the guy who let out all the secrets on Batman! But I read it in the paper!"
A simple mistake that got blown out of proportion wound up getting Caine into some trouble with the Nolan gang. "Everybody got pissed off at me," he said goodheartedly. "I just said, 'I read it in the paper and thought it was true!' It was the Toronto Times or something, I had it in the hotel, I came and did an interview with you, and you said, 'What do you think of this?' And I said, 'I thought it was a great idea!' And then it was on the bloody internet!"
Of course, in the end, Depp and Hoffman were never cast. And why is that?
"They said, 'We're not going to do it because Michael Caine is in it,'" joked the actor. "I ruined their careers for them!"
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